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Volume 25 No. 153
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ECHL Sees Lowest Attendance Since '11-12 As League Deals With More Franchise Shuffling

The ECHL this season averaged 4,386 fans per game, marking the Double-A level’s lowest average attendance since ’11-12. Attendance was down 5% from last season. The league lost its three California-based teams to the AHL after last season, including the Ontario Reign, who led the ECHL at the gate in five of six seasons before departing. Filling the void for those three clubs this season were the East Coast markets vacated by the AHL in Manchester, N.H., Norfolk, Va., and Glens Falls, N.Y. The Ft. Wayne Komets took over the top spot among all 28 ECHL clubs in attendance this season, with 7,484 fans per game, up 3% from last season. The Wheeling Nailers led all teams in gains, up just under 12%. The sharpest drop at the gate belonged to the Evansville IceMen (-19%), who announced in November their intent to move to Owensboro, Ky. The club will be dormant next season as renovations are made to Owensboro Sportscenter (THE DAILY).

'15-16 ECHL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE
TEAM
GAMES
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.
% +/-
Ft. Wayne Komets
36
269,413
7,484
7,277
2.8%
Toledo Walleye
36
251,369
6,982
6,440
8.4%
Orlando Solar Bears
36
224,131
6,226
6,209
0.3%
Tulsa Oilers*
36
219,215
6,089
5,479
11.1%
Florida Everblades
36
187,705
5,214
5,205
0.2%
Missouri Mavericks*
36
185,531
5,154
5,317
-3.1%
Utah Grizzlies
36
183,415
5,095
4,919
3.6%
Atlanta Gladiators
36
177,935
4,943
4,927
0.3%
Colorado Eagles
36
176,611
4,906
5,289
-7.2%
Wichita Thunder*
36
168,563
4,682
5,007
-6.5%
Manchester Monarchs**
36
166,403
4,622
n/a
n/a
Allen Americans*
36
164,559
4,571
4,096
11.6%
Cincinnati Cyclones
36
164,333
4,565
4,342
5.1%
Quad City Mallards*
36
157,296
4,369
3,913
11.7%
Idaho Steelheads
36
151,111
4,198
4,030
4.2%
Evansville IceMen
36
145,545
4,043
5,019
-19.4%
South Carolina Stingrays
36
142,437
3,957
3,979
-0.6%
Indy Fuel
36
138,825
3,856
3,720
3.7%
Alaska Aces
36
137,854
3,829
4,367
-12.3%
Norfolk Admirals**
36
135,599
3,767
n/a
n/a
Reading Royals
36
135,004
3,750
4,192
-10.5%
Rapid City Rush*
36
133,800
3,717
3,856
-3.6%
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
36
131,698
3,658
3,619
1.1%
Wheeling Nailers
36
100,627
2,795
2,499
11.9%
Elmira Jackals
36
100,251
2,785
2,557
8.9%
Brampton Beast*
36
100,216
2,784
2,572
8.2%
Adirondack Thunder**
36
88,630
2,462
n/a
n/a
Kalamazoo Wings
36
82,738
2,298
2,703
-15.0%
ECHL TOTALS
1,008
4,420,814
4,386
4,598
-4.6%
           

NOTES: Attendance from the '14-15 season includes three clubs who moved to AHL: the Ontario Reign, Bakersfield Condor and Stockton Thunder. * = Seven new teams were added to the ECHL for '14-15 following a merger with the Central Hockey League. ** = Expansion market for '15-16 season.